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NEWS
Equinox tells HCM it plans to fight $11.25m race discrimination ruling
POSTED 02 Jun 2023 . BY Tom Walker
Equinox says it will fight the court's race discrimination ruling Credit: Shutterstock/Michael Vi
Equinox has been ordered to pay out US$11.25m to a former employee
Röbynn Europe, a black female fitness trainer, claimed she was discriminated against
In response, Equinox said Europe was sacked due to being repeatedly late for work
Equinox lost the court case – but "vehemently disagrees" with the decision and will appeal
Lifestyle brand Equinox has told HCM it plans to fight a ruling by the US courts that it must pay pay US$11.25m to a former employee who claimed she was discriminated against due to race, saying it "vehemently disagrees with the jury’s finding".

Röbynn Europe, a black female personal trainer, started work at Equinox's club on 92nd Street in New York in November 2018, but was sacked in September 2019. The ensuing court case has just concluded.

According to Europe, during her time working for Equinox she made multiple complaints to management about being subjected to a racially hostile environment at the club.

She sued the company in September 2020, citing unlawful dismissal and discrimination, testifying that a manager who reported to her often made inappropriate comments about black women's bodies, diverted personal training clients away from employees of colour and harassed staff with offensive language.

In response, Equinox denied the claims and said her dismissal was purely down to bad attendance.

Equinox said she had twice been warned about being late for work. Despite this, the company said she had been late for work on nine occasions in approximately three weeks during September 2019, as well as a further 15 times out of 22 scheduled shifts in August 2019.

In court, the jury found in her favour, agreeing that she had been subject to a hostile working environment.

Europe did not contest the allegations about her late arrival at work but showed that other trainers who were late on a similar number of occasions were not disciplined or sacked. She also presented evidence to show that she had never missed a client appointment and often stayed late when needed.

She was awarded US$1.25m in compensatory damages and $10m in punitive damages, as well as $16,000 in economic damages representing back pay.

Equinox denies the accusations of discrimination and is looking to overturn the decision.

Speaking to HCM, a spokesperson said: “We do not tolerate discrimination in any form.

"This was a case of termination for performance that relates to attendance and nothing more. Her claims of bias are completely baseless and uncorroborated

"We worked with Ms. Europe over a period of months to address repeated issues related to her tardiness and attendance (arriving late 47 times during her 11 months with the company), which she agreed needed improvement.

"Other employees have been terminated for similar patterns of tardiness and attendance."

Susan Crumiller, Europe lawyer from feminist litigation firm Crumiller, said: “We could not be more thrilled with this outcome. The jury sent a loud message to Equinox that there are serious consequences for corporations that permit racist and sexist behavior in the workplace.

"We are also pleased the jury found Equinox’s racism had a severe and lasting impact on Röbynn’s mental health and that she deserved to be compensated for it," said Crumiller. "Let this be a warning to all businesses in New York that if you try to brush harassment and discrimination under the rug, you will not get away with it.”

HCM will report on the appeal in due course.

The full verdict of the case can be accessed and read here.

Equinox Group has a portfolio of wellness brands with 300 properties globally, including Equinox Fitness, Equinox Hotels, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, Equinox Media, Pure Yoga, Furthermore and Precision Run.

It also launched E by Equinox, a high-end, customised wellness offering which functions out of two clubs – in London and New York.

The company’s Equinox+ App gives access to on-demand workouts, recovery and mental health support from Equinox, SoulCycle, Solidcore, TB12, Pure Yoga, Precision Run and HeadStrong.
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News   Products   Magazine   Subscribe
NEWS
Equinox tells HCM it plans to fight $11.25m race discrimination ruling
POSTED 02 Jun 2023 . BY Tom Walker
Equinox says it will fight the court's race discrimination ruling Credit: Shutterstock/Michael Vi
Equinox has been ordered to pay out US$11.25m to a former employee
Röbynn Europe, a black female fitness trainer, claimed she was discriminated against
In response, Equinox said Europe was sacked due to being repeatedly late for work
Equinox lost the court case – but "vehemently disagrees" with the decision and will appeal
Lifestyle brand Equinox has told HCM it plans to fight a ruling by the US courts that it must pay pay US$11.25m to a former employee who claimed she was discriminated against due to race, saying it "vehemently disagrees with the jury’s finding".

Röbynn Europe, a black female personal trainer, started work at Equinox's club on 92nd Street in New York in November 2018, but was sacked in September 2019. The ensuing court case has just concluded.

According to Europe, during her time working for Equinox she made multiple complaints to management about being subjected to a racially hostile environment at the club.

She sued the company in September 2020, citing unlawful dismissal and discrimination, testifying that a manager who reported to her often made inappropriate comments about black women's bodies, diverted personal training clients away from employees of colour and harassed staff with offensive language.

In response, Equinox denied the claims and said her dismissal was purely down to bad attendance.

Equinox said she had twice been warned about being late for work. Despite this, the company said she had been late for work on nine occasions in approximately three weeks during September 2019, as well as a further 15 times out of 22 scheduled shifts in August 2019.

In court, the jury found in her favour, agreeing that she had been subject to a hostile working environment.

Europe did not contest the allegations about her late arrival at work but showed that other trainers who were late on a similar number of occasions were not disciplined or sacked. She also presented evidence to show that she had never missed a client appointment and often stayed late when needed.

She was awarded US$1.25m in compensatory damages and $10m in punitive damages, as well as $16,000 in economic damages representing back pay.

Equinox denies the accusations of discrimination and is looking to overturn the decision.

Speaking to HCM, a spokesperson said: “We do not tolerate discrimination in any form.

"This was a case of termination for performance that relates to attendance and nothing more. Her claims of bias are completely baseless and uncorroborated

"We worked with Ms. Europe over a period of months to address repeated issues related to her tardiness and attendance (arriving late 47 times during her 11 months with the company), which she agreed needed improvement.

"Other employees have been terminated for similar patterns of tardiness and attendance."

Susan Crumiller, Europe lawyer from feminist litigation firm Crumiller, said: “We could not be more thrilled with this outcome. The jury sent a loud message to Equinox that there are serious consequences for corporations that permit racist and sexist behavior in the workplace.

"We are also pleased the jury found Equinox’s racism had a severe and lasting impact on Röbynn’s mental health and that she deserved to be compensated for it," said Crumiller. "Let this be a warning to all businesses in New York that if you try to brush harassment and discrimination under the rug, you will not get away with it.”

HCM will report on the appeal in due course.

The full verdict of the case can be accessed and read here.

Equinox Group has a portfolio of wellness brands with 300 properties globally, including Equinox Fitness, Equinox Hotels, SoulCycle, Blink Fitness, Equinox Media, Pure Yoga, Furthermore and Precision Run.

It also launched E by Equinox, a high-end, customised wellness offering which functions out of two clubs – in London and New York.

The company’s Equinox+ App gives access to on-demand workouts, recovery and mental health support from Equinox, SoulCycle, Solidcore, TB12, Pure Yoga, Precision Run and HeadStrong.
RELATED STORIES
Julia Klim announces Equinox Circle loyalty programme


Lifestyle brand, Equinox has signed a deal with eight high-end consumer brands to create a new loyalty programme of benefits for members.
Equinox suspends member sign-ups in controversial new year membership campaign


Luxury fitness chain Equinox hit headlines with its new year membership campaign that banned new members from joining on 1 January.
Equinox and SoulCycle to require proof of vaccine at their studios


Equinox Group will require customers and employees to provide proof of vaccine, if they want to enter its Equinox clubs, SoulCycle studios and corporate offices.
MORE NEWS
Equinox Hotels to launch futuristic wellbeing resort in Neom's luxury coastal region
Fitness-focused hospitality brand and management company Equinox Hotels has announced plans to open a modern new resort on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba in northwest Saudi Arabia. The venture is part of the ambitious US$500 billion (€462.7 billion, £396 billion) Neom* giga- project.
La Maviglia resort and medi-spa opening in Puglia in 2027, designed by Oppenheim Architecture
Plans have been unveiled for La Maviglia, a new luxury resort and expansive medi-spa set to open in Italy's Puglia region, renowned for its Primitivo wine, in 2027.
Auberge Resorts to land in London in 2025 with two-floor spa inspired by Roman bathing
Auberge Resorts Collection will launch its first UK property and destination spa in Mayfair, London, in 2025, following a deal with UK-based global private investment group Reuben Brothers.
Texas welcomes WorldSprings: a new 46-pool social bathing hot spot and spa
A large new mineral springs destination has launched in Texas, inspired by some of the world’s most famous hot springs – such as Jordan’s Dead Sea, Iceland’s Blue Lagoon and Mexico’s Grutas Tolantongo.
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IDEA® Health & Fitness Association and CoverMe Fitness are proud to announce a strategic partnership to address some of the biggest challenges facing fitness professionals and the industry at large, which will launch at IDEA® World Convention in the US this week. [more...]

Prepare your spa for peak season with SpaSoft
The busy season is here, and it's time to shine! Prepare your spa to deliver an exceptional experience to guests who walk through your doors. [more...]
+ More featured suppliers  
COMPANY PROFILES
JK Group UK & Ireland

A wholly owned UK and Ireland subsidiary of JK Group in Germany with an established heritage of 30+ [more...]
+ More profiles  
CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  

DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

28-29 Jul 2024

Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Spa Conference 2024

Southern Sun Rosebank, Johannesburg, South Africa
03-05 Sep 2024

ASEAN Patio Pool Spa Expo

IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2024

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
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